On the importance of having a teammate in marriage.

After being on maternity leave for nearly five months (9 weeks off from work+Summer break), I left my baby for the first time this past Monday. It was incredibly difficult. There were tears. There was stress. However, my husband and I are incredibly blessed in that he has a work schedule that allows him to stay with Elliott a few days a week. The other days, my wonderful mother-in-law, and my best friend watch him.

Having a baby is beautiful. You learn things about yourself you never knew. You are consistently in awe of the amazing baby you have created. You fall even more in love with your spouse than you thought was possible.

I’ve always know Shane was an amazing partner. Before we were married, we were best friends. When we became married, my life felt truly complete. Don’t get me wrong, we sometimes bicker and poke fun at each other, but it all seems to create an even greater bond between us.

Monday was trying. I left Elliott with my husband, and I still cried! My husband sent me updates, pictures, called me, did whatever it took to comfort me on my first day back at work. When I got home, I played with our baby boy while my husband cooked dinner. We then took turns eating while caring for Elliott. We did a lot of other things for each other on Monday too, but I forget them because I’m a new mom and school is starting soon.

Tuesday came, and I had already figured out that even though being a working/pumping mom is tough, my husband, my teammate, would ease my transition into helping me balance both worlds.

On Wednesday, I picked up our son, came home, set him on our bed, let the dogs out, changed, let the dogs back in, picked up Elliott, fed the dogs, got all of my pumped milk stored in the freezer, rinsed and sterilized all of my pump parts, played with Elliott, cleaned Elliott’s sticky yellow poop off of my arm after he had the world’s biggest blow out, cleaned him, cleaned his bouncer that he also got poop all over, changed the trash bag in the diaper pail, refilled the wipes, practiced rolling with Elliott, took Elliott on the “mommy coaster” (roller coaster made from bouncing and my legs), and somewhere in there I managed to take a couple of breaths.

Did reading that feel chaotic? It was. And it all happened within the span of an hour and a half!

My husband came home and played with the baby. I rinsed the bath out. My husband changed and got Elliott ready for his bath. I got all of Elliott’s clothes in the laundry. My husband bathed Elliott. I nursed Elliott.

Elliott falls asleep.

It’s 7:45, and we can finally start dinner. It’s 7:55. Elliott wakes up. And cries. A lot. I eat while standing around our island and holding/bouncing Elliott. My husband offers to do the same. We take turns, switching back and forth. We finish dinner and then take turns trying to finally get Elliott asleep. Once Elliott falls asleep, my sweet husband turns on The Bachelorette, which, mind you…he despises, and he offers to watch it with me.

Our night was busy, and it was chaos, but it was love. We worked together. We do things to comfort one another and help each other simply get through the day. Parenting and marriage is nothing without a teammate. This is a long post and certainly, redundant and somewhat boring, but it shows life, and most importantly, it shows love.

Find a teammate in your spouse.

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For all the mamas missing their mamas.

I always knew it would be hard.

Quite some time before we welcomed our sweet baby boy into the world, my mother became sick. In fact, she had been sick for quite some time. My family had been thrown into a whirlwind of sorts with the passing of my stepfather, and it seemed to hasten the effects of my mother’s illness into a quickly spiraling downfall.

CADASIL. Have you heard of it? Probably not. CADASIL is an incredibly rare hereditary stroke disorder. In fact, the illness is so rare, many doctors seem to be unfamiliar with the disease. Because people affected with CADASIL have many TIAs and/or strokes, they begin to lose the spark for life they once had. The disorder affects people in many different ways. For my mom, she lost her ability to walk, stand, communicate how she wanted, and ultimately suffered from dementia. It’s a hard thing to visit your mom in memory care when she is only forty-eight. It was hard to watch her go from someone who took care of me, to someone I took care of. Through the entirety of her sickness, she never lost her yearning to be the best mother she possibly could. She mothered me even when it was hard for her to take care of herself. When I helped to feed her, she would become upset because she did not want to burden me. She would laugh, and smile, and play along with people two times her age simply so I could see she was okay. She was everything as a mother, and she is everything I hope to be.

Yesterday, she would have turned fifty-one. I found myself reflecting most of the day, looking through pictures, remembering her before she became sick, thinking about times when I missed her most, yearning to share what is currently happening in my life. It occurred to me how many mamas there are that miss their mamas. I think so many of us can relate to wanting to pick up the phone and call mom, only to realize there is no number to dial, no one to pick up on the other end.

When I became pregnant with our son, I was thrilled and elated. Then, I was sad. I wept for the loss of our son getting to know his maternal grandmother. I cringed at the thought of going through childbirth without her. My mother was truly my best friend, and I was her biggest fan. Even though I was upset I wouldn’t be able to experience all the things I wanted with my mother, I was so grateful for all of the lessons she taught me and all of the love she left me with.

So, for the mamas out their missing their mamas, know this:

When you become pregnant with your child, your mama knows. She is happy for you. She shares in your excitement and joy, and she will guide you when you least expect it. 

When you are laboring, preparing for the birth of your child, your mama is holding your hand. She is encouraging you as her mama once did with her. She is crying with you when you think you just can’t push anymore.

When your child is born, your mama is smiling the biggest smile she can possibly smile. She sees you hold your baby as she once held you, and she is proud.

When your whole body hurts, and your baby depends on you for their every need, your mama is whispering the sweetest encouragement. She knows your pain and she guides you to take care of yourself the way that she once cared for you. 

When your baby laughs for the first time, your mama laughs too. She feels the joy that jumps within you, and she jumps too. 

When your baby cries for what seems like an endless amount of time, your mama holds you in her arms as you hold your baby. She helps you to know what to do. 

When you want to share motherhood with your mama, she shares it with you.

 

 

 

Being a mama is hard when you want your mama, and though your mama might be gone, know she never left.

 

 

Really though? IHOb?

Disclaimer: This has nothing to do with anything other than my own outrage over IHOP deciding they would claim to be IHOb in the future. After a press release, IHOP has stated they are still IHOP. Apparently the tricksters thought a horrendous fake change of name would increase one’s desire to go to IHOP for lunch and dinner, instead of simply breakfast. Let’s go ahead and pretend they actually followed through with the idea to alter the name of the well known breakfast establishment. So, imagine, a world where IHOP flips the switch on us and decides to become IHOb.

First off, what the what?

Secondly, is anyone else just as confused as I am by this sudden change to the staple International House of Pancakes? You can’t just up and decide one day, “oh, ya know what? I think we should focus more on burgers now. So let’s change our name.” Umm, no. Wrong. That’s not how this works.

Another thing, IHOP is pronounced I-HOP because it stands for International House of Pancakes. Notice the capital P. This is because IHOP is an acronym. Now, IHOb has branded themselves with a new level of stupidity. They have decided not to capitalize the b. As an English teacher, I’m failing America. Okay, maybe that’s slightly extreme. I understand that the reason they switched the capital P to a lowercase b is so they can ‘somewhat’ maintain their brand without pissing off too many people; however, all they’re doing is showing that their new identity is indeed lesser than their previous. The uppercase P showcases the pride that IHOP has in their golden fluffy pancakes. The lowercase b demonstrates their less than impressive burgers. IHOP (I refuse to call it IHOb more than I already have) has stated that the new “b” in their name stands for burgers. No. No no no no.

Tell me a time in which you were craving a burger and thought to yourself, “damn, IHOP serves a mean burger.” You have never thought that because it is not a thing. I have never craved a burger and then associated that craving with IHOP.

We are coming back to reality for a moment. Paul R. La Monica, writer for CNN money stated, “It’s only a marketing campaign. IHOP isn’t changing its name. But the chain of breakfast diners took social media by storm last week with the cryptic announcement that it was flipping the lowercase “p” in its logo and making it a “b” (CNN Money).

I, for one, do not see how stirring up frustration would cause someone to want to go to IHOP for a burger more than any other place. A marketing campaign is not going to make someone want to go to IHOP instead of Whataburger. It. will. not. happen. In the same article, La Monica refers to a statement made by the president of IHOP. The president announced, “We are definitely going to be IHOP,” Darren Rebelez, president of IHOP, told CNNMoney. “But we want to convey that we are taking our burgers as seriously as our pancakes” (CNNMoney).

I’m so glad they are taking their burgers seriously. Elated. Overjoyed.

However, I don’t think anyone else is taking their burgers seriously.

Maybe I’m wrong, but IHOP is IHOP, and the restaurant should keep doing what they’re known for. I have included a list below for reference.

  1. IHOP should continue to offer pancakes for every family that enjoys a yummy breakfast.
  2. IHOP should continue to be a refuge for high school students that are hungry at 2:00 in the morning.
  3. IHOP should continue to be IHOP.

Let us rejoice that IHOP has only pulled a silly stunt because let’s be real, IHOb sounds stupid.

La Monica, Paul R. “IHOP Reveals the Mystery of IHOb.” CNNMoney, Cable News Network, 11 June 2018, money.cnn.com/2018/06/11/investing/ihob-ihop-burgers-name-change/index.html.

“Pancakes.” BettyCrocker.com, Betty Crocker, http://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/pancakes/7b1b2ca4-2ce0-4d3c-932b-6855257e6e87.

I have found myself in the middle.

For years now, my husband has suggested I invest my time in a new hobby. I have always enjoyed reading and fitness, and while I can keep up with reading, fitness has been put on the back burner lately. In fact, my current exercise routine consists of walking my baby around our house between the hours of four and eight in the evening. He is incredibly sensitive to low air, and if he is found to be sitting or laying, and not touring the house between those hours, his allergies act up in a manner of screaming. A lot. So, by the end of each day, I can pretty much guarantee at least 10,000 steps all gained in the comfort of my very own living room! He has done a lot in helping to craft my new mom physique.

All of this to say, I have decided my new hobby will be writing. I’m not quite sure why I have chosen now to finally pick up a new hobby, but it seems I feel like I have a lot to say.

I’m in the middle of many things in my life-some are new, some are developing, and some things I have been doing for quite some time now. I’m in the middle of my twenties, teaching middle school, being married to the most amazing man, and parenting the sweetest baby (even when he does decide to cry simply because he is not being held or walked around the house). I find I am in the middle of everything, and I couldn’t be happier. I want to devote this blog to everything from teaching ideas and experiences, everyday living, and first-time momming (by the way, my son pooped in the tub for the first time today, and I wasn’t even really grossed out). I hope to maybe create a few laughs, gain insight, and maybe even learn a little about myself.

Here’s to meddling.